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MARY GOODING OEHLKE
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It’s Time to Take Back our County, State, and Country

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The elections are over, and a new team will soon be in place. As your new Republican Party County Chair, I make the following pledge to you: I will run a grassroots program. That means YOU, the voter, will have great input as to how YOUR party will function. To that end, a draft plan has been formulated to move forward, details below.

Your new GOP will be open and transparent. Bylaws, agendas, meeting minutes, and treasurers’ reports will be published to the public GOP website. Rather than just the minimum requirement of four (4) County Executive Committee (CEC) meetings annually, the plan is to have monthly meetings for the foreseeable future. Your Pct Chairs and County Chair are ready to roll up our sleeves and go to work. A determinative midterm election that will shape the direction of Texas and our Country will occur in five (5) months and we must prepare now!

The plan, for now, is to move the Regular (open) meetings in each Pct within the county instead of having them in the same place each time; It’s time we come to YOU, the voter.

We will publish meeting dates and election schedules on an annual calendar so YOU, the voter can plan, schedule, and provide input and recommendations, advise, and influence YOUR party. After all, the Bandera County GOP belongs to you.

If you belong to an organization and want the Bandera County GOP to provide a presentation on a particular topic, let us know and, we will do our best to be there. It is the intention of this GOP to immerse ourselves in every aspect of our community. You will know us by our first name, you will have direct access to us, and you will come to trust us. We understand that trust will have to be earned, but I assure you we will work hard to earn it and, once earned we will not violate it.

A training plan for all Pct chairs has been designed and will be implemented in July. If there is no understanding of how the system works, we cannot effectively influence and protect the system. This training plan will be shared with other counties within our senate district or any other counties who request it. Knowledge is power.

Bandera County is situated within Senate District 24. After our first organizational meeting, our plan is to contact the leadership of the counties within SD 24 and invite them to meet with Bandera County. The plan is to have a brain storming session to devise a plan by which we may exercise greater influence over the elected candidates and proposed Senate Bills in Texas and at the national level. We MUST become more active to be effective!

The hope is that this group will work with us and send people to observe and report back on the results of committee hearing which occur in Austin. This will be a monumental task, will take significant time and effort and will not happen overnight, but we can accomplish it if we band together. Together we are stronger, together we can make a bigger difference, but we need YOUR help to make the difference.

We will also start talking with other conservative groups within SD 24 and the State, such as Republican Women’s group, Patriot groups, Tea Party groups, The Convention of States, and others If we are to overcome the onslaught of liberal and RINO intruders, we must be ever vigilant and begin working together or risk losing our way of life and our freedoms. It’s time we put aside petty differences, steel our resolve, muster our fighting spirit and work toward our common goals, for the good of Bandera County, Texas, and the Nation.

I Was born and raised in Guadalupe County Texas. My parents were farmers and raised six children. We raised cattle and sold hay to make a living. Although life was hard, it was good. Our parents raised us Catholic and to this day we still follow the teaching of our faith. My Grand Father immigrated from Germany in the early 1900s, So I am second generation legal German immigrant. After I graduated from Southwest Texas State University. I married my wife Sharon and life was good. I had an excellent well-paying job. However, as the eldest son my father and uncles reminded me that we still owed our adopted country a debt that would take many generations of our family to repay. My father and uncles all fought in WWII and came home victorious and proud. They reminded me that it was now my responsibility to guard the mantle of freedom for the Striegl family. To the regret of my wife, I enlisted in the Army in the Special Weapons field and later was selected for Officer Candidate School. After graduating from OCS, I served for 27 years and finally retired from the Army in 2002 as a lieutenant colonel (LTC). I fought in two wars and three peace actions because I understood that it was my responsibility to help guard the greatest Nation in the History of the world.

After I retired and came home, I worked as a contractor for the Air Force on Brooks City base as a material developer until the contracts ended. However, the Army was not done with me yet. My old boss, a former Commander of a Ranger Battalion asked me to come back to the Army as a Department of the Army Civilian and work for Army North in the Homeland Defense Area. With some hesitation I agreed. I worked for Army North as a team leader for 10 years until I retired again. I thought I was done with my service to this great country. It was now my responsible as the eldest son to help care for our aging parents and less fortunate family members. I did so until they passed. I now focused on my family, after all how much can one person do? But I have been blessed with excellent health and longevity of life. So, I think there is a higher power that decides your fate and when you are done. I now stand before you as your County Republican Chair. I make this pledge to you. I will work and fight every day for our way of life and the freedom of this County, State and Country. I ask you, no I implore you to stand with me for together we are strong.

In closing I will use a term that we often use in the military after a battle. “I will see you on the high ground”

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this opinion piece do not represent that of the Bandera County Republican Party.